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Maule

The wine growing area Valle de Maule (Maule Valley) is located about 250 kilometers south of the capital Santiago in Chile. Together with the three areas of Maipo, Rapel and Curicó, it forms the most southerly part of the huge Valle Central region. It is divided into the sub-areas Claro, Loncomilla and Tutuvén and extends from the coastal cordilleras, which are climatically influenced by the Pacific Ocean, and the valley bottom, which is characterized by great heat, to the foothills of the Andes in the east. With around 30,000 hectares of vineyards, it is the largest wine-growing area in Chile. Spanish immigrants were already growing wine here in the 16th century. The cool climate is tempered by the Río Maule, which flows through the area from east to west. Volcanic soils predominate, with alluvial deposits, sand, clay and gravel. During the dry and hot summers, artificial irrigation is necessary. The cool nights are conducive to wine growing.

About three quarters of the red wine varieties are cultivated, mainly Cabernet Sauvignon (about 50% of the total area), Merlot, Carmenère, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Carignan Noir(Mazuelo) with partly ancient and rootless vines, Malbec(Cot) and País/Mission/Negra Antigua(Listán Prieto), and one quarter of the white wine varieties Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Until the mid-1990s, simple, easy-to-consume draught wines were produced here. From then on new, quality-enhancing technologies were used. Many wineries operate certified biological (organic) viticulture. Well known producers are Balduzzi, Botalcura, Carta Vieja, Concha y Toro, Rocahue, Santa Rita, Terranoble, Viña Calina and Viñedos Julio Bouchon.

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